Posts By: Emily Fromm

What Happened to Oklahoma Tornado Pets?

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Chance was treated for facial fractures and lacerations from flying debris.

Thanks to donors like you, in May we gave nearly $50,000 in cash and product grants to shelters impacted by the Oklahoma tornado. What happened to the animals who lost their homes to the storm? Grant recipient Central Oklahoma Humane Society, one of the shelters charged with rescuing pets displaced by the disaster, providing medical treatment for them and reuniting them with their owners, took in 151 dogs and cats. Amy Shrodes, the shelter’s manager of development, tells us nearly all have been reunited with their families or adopted into new homes — and those who haven’t are being lovingly cared for by shelter staff.

Here is the full grant report from Shrodes:

“The Central Oklahoma Humane Society (OK Humane) applied the grant from the Petfinder Foundation towards outside emergency medical expenses associated with animals injured during the May 20, 2013, tornado that devastated the city of Moore and parts of South Oklahoma City.

“The grant provided by the Petfinder Foundation covered a portion of reimbursement to outside veterinarians who assisted OK Humane with the treatment of critically injured animals found immediately following the tornado. Gifts like the one given by the Petfinder Foundation enabled OK Humane to take in a total of 151 animals at our temporary disaster-relief facilities. We were thrilled that 67 of the dogs and cats OK Humane took in were reunited with owners during the 45-day reunion time frame. At the end of the 45 days, OK Humane hosted a special adoption event for the animals who did not have families come forward for them. The event was called ‘Hope After The Storm,’ and it was hosted on July 13. Adopters from all over the country pre-registered for a chance to win a ticket to attend the private adoption event. Almost all of the remaining tornado animals were adopted at the event. OK Humane is still caring for several dogs and cats displaced by the storm, and they will receive love and attention until they are adopted by new families.

“We are now in the process of launching a long-term area resource plan for residents in disaster-affected areas. OK Humane is a member of the Long-Term Area Resource Committee for Oklahoma County and plans to assist owners with outstanding vet-bill reimbursement for injuries resulting from the disaster. OK Humane will also be offering free spay/neuter surgeries, free vaccinations and free microchipping. The plan is to offer these resources through at least the end of 2013.

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Chance’s grandmother broke down in tears when she discovered he was alive.

“Chance, a brindle-and-white boxer, was in horrible shape when his rescuer found him the night the tornado ripped through the City of Moore. The fact that he was in an airline carrier is probably the only thing that saved his life.

“Chance was sent to the OK Humane disaster-relief facility from the triage unit in Moore. Upon arrival, we knew that he needed immediate medical attention. As soon as a volunteer was available, we had him transported over to an emergency center where he was treated for facial fractures and lacerations from flying debris on his legs and face.

“We are excited to say that several days later Chance was reunited with his family. The person who found Chance was his grandmother, and she could not believe he was still alive. Her house had been completely destroyed by the storm. She thought Chance was lost forever, and broke down in tears immediately when she saw him come around the corner at our facility. Known as his ‘Oma,’ she had been keeping Chance for a few weeks for her son in California when the storm hit.

“Chance’s owners stayed in constant contact with us during his sheltering and treatment, and even allowed us to neuter him for free at our high-quality public spay/neuter clinic. One month later, an OK Humane board member flew Chance in a private plane back to his mom and dad in California. This sweet boy truly received a second ‘chance’ at life! Following the progress of his story during the 30 days that we cared for him was an inspiration to the entire OK Humane team.”

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A month after the tornado hit, Chance was reunited with his owners.

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SNAP-X Grants Help Rural Pets Find Homes Faster

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Clockwise from top left: Miss Kaye, Heidi, Kurt Russell and Katie

We got these reports from two recipients of our SNAP-X spay/neuter grants.

Patricia Beam, director of Mitchell County Animal Rescue in Spruce Pine, N.C., writes:

“Thanks so much for the Petfinder Foundation grant. We have used it to spay/neuter our shelter animals. Miss Kaye was a stray. An out-of-state adopter walked in the door and said he was here to adopt her based on her profile on Petfinder.com. Heidi was a stray kitten whom we were able to quickly get spayed and into her new home. Kurt Russell could jump three feet high flat-footed. He was adopted off Petfinder and fixed with the Petfinder Foundation grant funds. Katie was born in a ditch and her mother was feral. She and her five littermates were all fixed with the grant money and all were quickly adopted. Petfinder is an animal shelter pet’s best friend!”

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Cassidy with his new mom

Pat Getter, president of Doberman Rescue of Nevada in Las Vegas, tells us about one dog who was neutered thanks to our SNAP-X grant:

“An 11-month-old Doberman was brought to an animal hospital and the owners asked the vet to euthanize him — they said he was showing residual signs of parvo he supposedly previously had. The vet examined the dog, asked some questions, and basically determined that he was a healthy, energetic puppy who did not deserve to die because the irresponsible owners had no clue how to handle him. The vet asked the owners to surrender the dog to the animal hospital, which they did.

“The vet got the medical records from the owners’ previous vet clinic and the clinic said the owners told them the puppy ‘had parvo last week’ so it was never documented by any identifiable veterinarian that the dog had been sick or treated. Vet No. 1 did some additional testing, including an ECG when they thought they might have detected a slight arrhythmia, but the test came back normal. So, once the puppy had a clean bill of health, they called Doberman Rescue of Nevada and asked if we would be able to find a home for this Doberman.

“We were happy to help. Vet No. 1 proceeded with the puppy’s neuter. DRNV was only charged for the neuter and not any of the additional testing.

“Once we posted a photo of Cassidy, we received more than a dozen applications. We are particularly diligent when we have a young, classic-looking Doberman — black and tan, cropped and docked — because it is considered the breed standard and people come out of the woodwork wanting one, many of whom are not qualified to adopt and some of whom want Dobermans for the wrong reasons.

“We ultimately selected a woman who was raised with many dogs growing up, including Dobermans, worked in kennels as a teenager and is dedicated to not only loving and nurturing the boy, but giving Cassidy the obedience training he needs right away at this developmental age to turn him into the fine Doberman he can be.”

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Our Grant Gets 25 Shelter Cats Spayed or Neutered

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Fiona and her kittens were altered thanks to our grant.

Twenty-five shelter cats were spayed or neutered — and made more adoptable as a result — thanks to our Light Up a Life grant to Coulee Region Humane Society, Inc., in Onalaska, Wis., last year. We received this report from grants assistant Peg Zappen, who tells us, “We are so grateful for this grant support for our cats.  You make our world a better place for animals.” We are so glad we could help!

Zappen writes: “Coulee Region Humane Society is an open-admission shelter at which cats still face space-related euthanasia. We are in a community that has an ordinance requiring that animals adopted from the shelter be altered. One outcome of this is that altering shelter animals post-adoption is a source of income for local veterinary clinics. This is very positive but the reality is that people have become accustomed to finding animals who are already altered at limited-admission shelters in our region. Having the expense of spay/neuter puts cats at our shelter at a disadvantage when it comes to adoption.

“Over the past 20 months, we have been working with local clinics to build support for spay/neuter of shelter cats at a price we and grantors can afford and accept. For this grant we had three clinics — a record number — alter cats for $50 each. This is very significant for us to have moved from no support to having three participating clinics in this time period. Twenty-five cats were altered with this grant.

“All these cats have similar stories — they found themselves in an open admission shelter, unaltered and in need of help. Here is a little information about a few of the cats who you helped:

“Fiona is a fabulous, beautiful calico who was surrendered to us with two 2-day-old kittens. Fiona and her kittens were fostered by a staff member. All are adopted and much loved in their new homes.

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Archimedes

“Archimedes is a short-haired orange guy who is the life of the party, really a goofball in the nicest sense of the word. He was altered, recovered, appeared on a local TV station and was adopted within two days.

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Whisper, left, and Diamond

“Whisper and Diamond are two gray-and-white girls who were surrendered from the same home. They are now altered and living together in our communal room, awaiting their forever home.”

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Litter of Puppies Was Thrown Over Shelter Fence

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These pups and their littermates were thrown over the fence of a Texas shelter.

We received this grant report from Kay Hill at Humane Society of Harrison County in Marshall, TX. The shelter was a recipient of one of our Shot at Life vaccination grants.

“We have used the donated vaccine to vaccinate all dogs and cats that have been surrendered for adoption at our facility. Adoptions go through periods where some of the pets that we take in from their owners are harder to place than others. When we take in these pets, they get an initial vaccination and we hope that they are adopted out before the next set of shots are due. Sometimes that doesn’t happen.

“On April 4, 2013, we arrived at work to find a litter of Border Collie mix puppies that had been thrown over the fence. The pups were evaluated and put through the pre-adoption work-up. All received their first vaccinations and wormings. Several of the pups went really fast. Two pups stayed in the kennel until July 3. They have received a series of four vaccinations that they normally wouldn’t have received due to us having the free vaccine. We feel they are fully covered now that they are in their new home.”

If you are with a Petfinder shelter or rescue group and would like to apply for a vaccination grant, click here.

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Rescue U Turns a Former Schoolhouse Into a Cat Sanctuary

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A volunteer with her favorite cat

In May, Rescue U volunteers from Kentucky, Pennsylvania and West Virginia headed to Grafton, W.V., to renovate a cat shelter called P.U.R.R. (People United for Rescue and Rehabilitation) West Virginia. P.U.R.R. is housed in an enormous former elementary school that needed a lot of renovation. Projects included painting, organizing and hanging fiberglass, as well as some fairly heavy construction work.

The team replaced the shelter’s entryway with a new porch after the existing porch, which had been held up with wood that rotted over the years due to water damage, collapsed. Volunteers also created a new storage room and built a new loading entrance to it. A section of the brick wall had to be demolished in order to install a new door.

To create the storage room, the team removed 7,500 pounds of scrap metal from an old schoolroom and built a ramp leading up to the entrance (the scrap metal was recycled and the proceeds went to the shelter!). Volunteers demolished its bathrooms to create a cat intake area, removed the railings from the sidewalk outside the new room and expanded the sidewalk to allow shelter staff to move supplies in via pallet jack.

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The artists’ studio that became a cat colony

An old artists’ studio was cleared of debris, its walls scraped, repaired (P.U.R.R. owner Sarel Venter strapped on stilts to plaster hard-to-reach spots) and painted a “purplicious” color to create a new cat colony room.

The major renovations to the shelter have made life easier for the shelter staff and volunteers, and most importantly, more comfortable for all the adoptable cats. As P.U.R.R. wrote on its Facebook page: “Pawesome job at P.U.R.R., Rescue U volunteers!!”

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A volunteer makes some new friends.

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These Abandoned Puppies Won’t Be having Puppies!

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Adopted Pit Bull Allie in her new home

Adopted Pit Bull Allie in her new home

Thanks to our SNAP-X (Spay, Neuter, Adopt, Protect) grant, some pit bull puppies who were abandoned at the Humane Society of Pensacola in Florida won’t be having puppies of their own.

The shelter applied for a SNAP-X grant to help with the county’s problem with an overabundance of that breed, writing, “We would use the funds to spay the pit bulls and pit bull mixes that we see so often in our shelter.”

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Mama dog Angel‘s pups as newborns

Luckily, the grant funds had arrived the day an entire Pit Bull family was left at the facility — mama dog Angel, her mate and their four newborn pups. All six dogs “were abandoned on our porch with a note,” the shelter’s managing director, Sarah Humlie, tells us.

“Dad has been adopted,” she adds. “Mom is still waiting for her forever home, and all of the puppies have gone to great new homes.

“The puppies were beautiful and well behaved. By 10 weeks old, Bane knew how to sit, shake and roll over! Allie, as you can see from the picture, is a sweet girl without a care in the world in her new home. Both of these puppies were able to be spayed and neutered with the help of the grant.”

Bane in his new home

Bane in his new home

The pups’ mama, Angel, “loves to play, is a delight to be around, and will bring a smile to any face,” according to her Petfinder profile. Learn about adopting Angel here.

A SNAP-X grant also helped a dog named Sherman, who was in the care of Maple Hill Farm Toy Breed Rescue in Butler, Ohio.

Maple Hill president Dawn Porter tells us, “Sherman was a dog sent to us by a lady from Shelby. She found him and tried to find a home for him but could find no one, so she sent him to us. He is a poodle mix — we felt even possibly part Chinese crested. [A couple] came to adopt Laura; they liked her but then saw Sherman and the husband could not stop loving on him. So they ended up deciding to adopt him instead!”

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Thanks to program founder Fabiola Beracasa and everyone who donated to make these SNAP-X grants possible!

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SNAP-X: Saving Lives, Preventing Unwanted Litters

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With our SNAP-X (Spay, Neuter, Adopt, Protect) program, created by media personality and adoption advocate Fabiola Beracasa, we’re helping shelters combat pet overpopulation in regions desperate for spay and neuter services. Here are the stories of just a few of the pets SNAP-X has helped:

West Virginia

“These are some dogs who have benefited from the grant,” says Beth Vuolo, Executive Director of Summers County Humane Society in Hinton, WV. “The first four are still available for adoption.

Trixie is a sweetie. So far she is fine with all my creatures, with the exception of Vanna, who won’t stop barking at her. She is doing very well with everyone else these days.

Goose is an awesome guy! Super sweet, shy and timid at first, but always gentle and loving. Goose loves to play with the other dogs and is truly your best friend. Goose is very happy sprawled across your lap getting a belly rub. Goose is about 18 months old and 70 pounds.

Brogan is a huge baby. He tries very hard to please and loves other dogs. Brogan is so big, he scares other dogs when he runs up to say ‘hello’ so he is learning some manners. He knows how to sit and he is learning to walk on a leash. It is hard to get a picture because he wants to sit for you all the time. Brogan is not pushy. He’s great with cats, kids and dogs and would love to go home. He is 18 months old and 93 pounds. He has an impressive Mastiff bark and we think he is mixed with Labrador. Very friendly.

Mickey loves people! He wants to say hello to everyone he meets and get a good scratch. Mickey loves other dogs too but he doesn’t share his food with them (we are working on manners). He has wandered in the hills so long he hasn’t figured out food is not scarce anymore. Mickey is a great guy and will make a great companion! Mickey is about 5 years old and 59 pounds.

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Kelly

“Kelly is a 9-week-old puppy spayed before going home. She was surrendered when someone failed to spay their dog and ended up with a litter. Their dog is now altered and has been adopted. This is a picture of Kelly in her new home.”

Wyoming

Brandee Smith, program coordinator for the Laramie, WY, chapter of Black Dog Animal Rescue, emails us:

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Corona

“The first two pictures are Corona, a yellow Husky mix. He was neutered in our program. He was adopted! Corona was [pulled from a shelter]. He hadn’t been there long but he had few options, I think mostly because of his look. He was in our program about two weeks before he was adopted to a family in Laramie.

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Corona with his new family

“The next is Klondike, a black Pit Bull mix, who was neutered in our program and then adopted! Klondike was at a shelter for several months and quickly deteriorating. [One of our volunteers] was there when he was surrendered. She said it was heartbreaking. He screamed and cried and refused to go in the back. He was adopted after only about a week in our program.”

Klondike.

Klondike

Ohio

These two stories are from Dawn Porter, president of Maple Hill Farm Toy Breed Rescue in Butler, Ohio.

Buddy — now Biscuit — in his new home

“Buddy’s owners decided they made a mistake and didn’t want him after all after only one week. He is about 11 weeks old, a chocolate Yorkie. He is a wonderful guy! So sweet and quiet considering his age. He went to his new home today. He will be called Biscuit now!”

The SNAP-X grant also allowed Maple Hill Farm to help puppy mill survivor Hannah, a 5-year-old Chihuahua who’d spent her life in a tiny cage. “The money has enabled us to make an appointment for Hannah to be fully vetted next week,” Porter says. “Thank you so much for this opportunity to help more dogs.”

Many thanks to Fabiola and everyone who donated to SNAP-X for helping these and many other pets in desperate need!

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Searching Through the Rubble for Oklahoma Pets

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The Petfinder Foundation has given a $10,000 grant to City of Oklahoma City Animal Welfare Division, which has been working with Central Oklahoma Humane Society (which received a $5,000 grant from us) to house the hundreds of pets displaced by Monday’s deadly tornado. The funds will buy crates, vaccinations, grooming supplies, enrichment items and beds, and pay for medical treatments and staffing costs.

When we spoke with shelter superintendent Catherine English today, she was operating on just three hours of sleep. As the agency tasked with being the lead local responder to the crisis, the division had called all its staff members to work around the clock.

“We have worked two days now at 24 hours [a day],” English told us.

When the storms hit, the shelter staffers worked with regional and out-of-state rescue groups to take in their adoptable pets so that they would have more room for the newcomers. As of this morning, the agency had already taken in 92 dogs, 13 cats and three horses.  “We have a couple of officers down there going through rubble and patrolling the streets looking for strays,” English said.

All incoming animals are checked by a veterinarian and treated for injuries such as lacerations, shock and broken bones. Volunteer groomers were coming in that afternoon to wash the pets, which could reveal more injuries, English said: “We won’t know until we bathe them, whether or not the water runs red, whether they have fiberglass blown into them.”

Under normal circumstances, shelter staff try to achieve a 75 percent live-release rate, English said. They get close to their goal – recently they’ve hovered around a 63 percent live-release rate – because they provide medical interventions that save lives. They have a special Angel Fund set up to pay for expensive surgeries and procedures such as ultrasounds and X-rays, but English expects this crisis will quickly deplete that fund.

Notified of the Petfinder Foundation grant, English said, “That’s amazing! Thank you — I’m thrilled.” The funds, she said, would help ensure that only the most grievously injured pets are euthanized. “We are not going to lower the bar,” she said. “It’s our standard and we’re not going to lower our standard.” –Karen Hollish

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Housing 130+ Displaced Dogs in Oklahoma

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Central Oklahoma Humane Society writes on its Facebook page: “This boy came into our facility with a fractured rear leg. He is currently receiving necessary medical care.”

The Petfinder Foundation has rushed a $5,000 disaster grant to Central Oklahoma Humane Society, which is finding and housing pets displaced by Monday’s deadly tornado in Oklahoma. The grant money will be used to pay for the pets’ medical care, sheltering and food, and it will help with the staffing costs associated with the shelter’s around-the-clock response.

Under normal circumstances, the shelter takes in 250 to 300 animals a month. As soon as the tornado struck, it emptied all its kennels of adoptable pets — either by transferring them to partner rescues or placing them in foster homes — to provide room for the more than 200 displaced pets expected to come in.

Already the shelter has have taken in more than 130 dogs, and the shelter’s staff have been working around the clock. It has taken in only a few displaced cats – but Director of Outreach Amy Shrodes tells us she expects that number will quickly rise.

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This Sheltie was found stuck in a tree’s branches after the storm.

“It’s still a very chaotic environment in Moore,” she says. “We are thinking most of the cats are still hiding.”

When we caught up with Shrodes on Tuesday, she was finally back in her office after spending the morning searching through the rubble in Moore. During the morning’s search, she and her staff found three dogs, among them a Sheltie who was stuck in a tree’s branches. “He was actually in better shape than some of the dogs we found who weren’t in trees,” she says.

Many of the displaced pets were injured in the storm. “We are looking at an at least 50 percent injury rate for the animals that are coming in,” Shrodes says.

Injured pets are being treated at the in-shelter clinic and at local veterinarians’ offices. The animals have been damaged by debris and are dealing with abrasions, eye injuries, lacerations and fractured legs.

The shelter currently is in need of syringes, needles, sterile gloves, gowns, shoe covers, pet shampoo, clipper blades and chemical antiseptic, Shrodes says.

“We are working around the clock to take in as many displaced animals as possible,” Shrodes says. “This money will go a long way.”

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Helping Tornado Victims in Oklahoma

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With 51 people dead and countless displaced after a massive tornado in Oklahoma, the human cost of the storm is incalculable. But we’re working to help local animal shelters mitigate the suffering of residents’ pets.

The local animal control, City of Moore Animal Shelter, has lost power; its four staff members have been working with almost no sleep to pick up the hundreds of lost pets roaming the city.

They have set up three temporary holding areas, at locations such as the county fairgrounds, where displaced dogs are being held so their owners can locate them. The shelter has not taken in any displaced cats yet, but expects to as the days go on.

Shelter Manager Vanna Conway tells us, “We lost half of our city, and it’s pouring down rain today so it’s not helping matters.” Conway herself went home at 4:30 a.m. last night and was back at work at 7 a.m. today.

On a regular day, the shelter may take in 20 dogs and 10 cats. During the last disaster, a twister that killed at least two in 1999, it took in more than 250 displaced dogs and 200 displaced cats. Shelter staff reconnected all those pets with their families or found new homes for them, and that is what they want to do again.

But this tornado has been even deadlier. “We have a lot more deaths this time, people and animals,” Conway says. Still, most of the animals she and her staff have picked up have been alive. “They’re covered in mud and insulation,” she says, “but they’re breathing.”

Many of them, however, are injured. “We have several vets that are volunteers and they are taking care of those,” Conway says. Uninjured pets are awaiting their owners at one of the three holding areas.

Donate now to help us help Oklahoma shelters save the lives of displaced pets.

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